|Photo from: Helene in Between|
Growing up, it seemed we always cleaned on Saturday. In fact, we had a list of things we had to do before we were allowed any extra curricular activities. If I wanted to go out with my friends at night, you better believe I spent some time with a mop and dust rag in my hand that afternoon. And no, I'm not bitter at all. In fact, I'm thankful that my mom taught me the basics to maintaining a house. Fast forward 15 years: I admit that I let things pile up (clothes) and get a little messy, but for the most part, I insist on having a clean household.
And until the last 6 months, that was a breeze. Basically since I graduated from high school, I lived in an apartment or small house (shared with several others!) The last couple years of living on my own meant that once or twice a week (usually Saturdays, old habits are hard to break!) I could do a "deep" clean of my WHOLE place in about an hour. No problem!
...and then I got married. And with my marriage came a much more spacious home. With multiple bathrooms. And hardwood floor. And laundry for two. And a dog that sheds.
And no, I'm not complaining! I love our home. I am incredibly thankful for it. And I love my husband, and throwing his laundry in with mine is certainly not a burden. I even love our dog...regardless of his shedding habits. But having said all of that, it only took a couple of months for me to start having that "I can't keep my head above water" feeling.
Like many of us, I have a real life job that takes me out of the house (and all over the place) from about 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. And I have family. Friends. A workout schedule. You know... normal stuff! When I got home and saw the dog hair, the piles of laundry (usually unfolded), and the dust...sometimes I just wanted to cry.
And then, I had a revelation! A fellow Her View From Home writer shared THIS article about a cleaning schedule and I thought to myself... duh! I mean, my real life job, that I get paid for, is to coordinate! How did I not think to coordinate a schedule for things that need to be done at home? Thankfully, reading her article (and if you do, there is a great plan for getting EVERYTHING done!) inspired me to figure out my own needs and come up with a plan.
And, I have to tell you, it has been a game changer! So, here's the plan I created, that works for me. And the best part about this is... you can make your own that works for you.
Sunday: I don't do anything. Or I don't have to anyways. Sunday is our family and fun day (and the only day my husband and I have off together) We are rarely home! If I see something that needs to happen (pick up clothes, start the dishwasher, wipe down counter tops), I do it quickly.
Monday: I also don't have to do anything this day. Monday is our date night. :) (See what I'm doing here?! This schedule doesn't have to turn you into the crazy chore lady!)
Tuesday: Surface and Floor day
Basically, I dust every surface I can get to, sweep and vacuum. We have mostly hardwood floors. I start with dusting and move to the floor. This takes me about 35 minutes. Seriously you guys! That's nothing. And I throw one load of laundry in right before I start. And it's almost done by the time I finish. And then I fold it later when I am lounging around (AKA watching TV or reading blogs/checking facebook & instagram).
Wednesday: Sheets and Towels day
You guys, I used to rarely get to my sheets. I know, gross right? It was just SUCH a pain to me. But now, it's on the list. On Wednesdays. And it's no thing! Who doesn't love clean sheets? I throw a small load of laundry in either before or after the sheets. See the pattern? The laundry happens everyday. I thought I would hate it, but it's so manageable that I now insist on it. And LOVE it for how much easier it makes my life.
Thursday: Bathroom day
Pretty self explanatory. Call me crazy, but I love cleaning the bathroom. I think it's because it gives me the most satisfaction. I clean the sinks, mirrors, toilets and floor in both bathrooms. And empty the trash. It takes so much less time than you think. And... don't forget the small load of laundry. By the way, once you have been doing this for awhile, it's ALWAYS a small load of laundry! It's the best.
Friday: Power clean
Usually by Friday I need groceries. Or just want to relax! Or I don't want to be home at all. But either, way, I can usually find time to tear through my house and pick up. Putting everything in their proper place makes a huge difference. OR... I do "One thing" (see below). Or not. Because sometimes you do happy hour on Friday. I don't have a scheduled "thing" for this day. Why? Because I sometimes need to force myself to relax. But I still throw my small load of laundry in! :)
Saturday: "One big thing" day
That's what I say in my head. Usually throughout the week, I think of one big house thing I would like to accomplish. Sometimes it is simply cleaning the entire basement. We don't get down there very much, so it's not very "lived in." Another Saturday it was cleaning out and scrubbing down the entire fridge. Depending on your day, your plan, and your mood, find one thing that works for you! Accomplishing those little (or big) projects, once a week, is extremely satisfying! (+ a small load of laundry if you have time! Or more! You make the rules!)
*side note: some things just need to happen as they happen. I don't know how many dishes your family goes through in a day, but washing dishes/loading a dishwasher, cleaning up spills in the kitchen, and wiping up obvious messes is sort of a given on a daily basis. If you want to keep things tidy, that is. *
I wasn't sure how this was going to go when I started out, but let me assure you: it has completely restored my sanity. I feel so much more put together, less stressed, and more relaxed. Something about coming home, knowing what "day" it is (and not feeling overwhelmed with ALL of the housework) has totally been a game changer for me! I have the list of days and tasks on my fridge. And I've stuck with it. Trust me, when you get to finally put your feet up at the end of the day, it's that much more rewarding!
- Music is everything. I highly recommend getting down to some 90s Alternative or old school hip hop while you scrub that toilet. But that's just me !
- Keep your cleaning supplies stocked and organized! I have a shelf in our hallway closet that is just for cleaning supplies. I can easily see what I have, what I need next time I am at the store, and what would be best for what task! Need a kick starter? Go buy new cleaning supplies and a caddy to carry around while you are working. Sometimes a few new items make the job more exciting. :)
- Attire. Sometimes I am able to do a better job when I have an old, scrubby shirt (or an apron!) and rubber gloves on. It just helps, trust me.
- Be flexible. What if you have a late night at work one evening? Or dinner plans? Don't let the "scheduling" throw you off. Flip days or combine two tasks on a Saturday as your big project. I promise, this is totally doable. And I have to do this almost every week!
- Ask for help! Maybe your significant other/roommate likes to clean, too! Or maybe not. But that's life. Team up and knock out the daily tasks. For example, my husband does the floors better than I can do them. So if I know I'm going to be late from work, or have guests coming that night, I leave him a note and (kindly) ask him to take over the task that day. :)
- For ideas about your "big projects" and other cleaning hacks, check this link out!
- And finally, for more cleaning tips and tricks, click HERE!
So, how do YOU keep up at home?! I would love to hear all of your tips and tricks! And I love to hear from you regardless, leave a comment or email me! :)
Have a wonderful day!
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